What are the advantages a non-CS grad over a CS or IT Grad?

I started coding this August 2018 without any coding background excep basic HTML. I’m in my late 20’s at first I am wondering if it’s too late to shift careers but coding quickly became a hobby I can like.

I really enjoy solving problems in code than dealing with politics in the office. Plus I having the ability to create something I can be proud of is very rewarding.

Anyways, what can be the advantages of a non-CS grad who just picked up coding in finding a job over someone who is a CS graduate, I know for sure I’ll compete with other CS grads looking for work too.

Focus on your soft skills and business skills, which many new grads, and even experienced CS grads can be lacking. Depending on your school and work history, you likely have many skills such as communication, coaching, training, self-awareness, mindfulness, self-starting, etc. that you can focus on in addition to your programming skills. There is something to be said for a person who has graduated, had success in their field, pushed themselves to study programming, and is confident enough to search for a job in a new field. These are all positive attributes that hiring managers consider when making their decision.

In a company point of view, no one cares where you learn your skills, so I would say cs grad or not, there is no significant advantage. If you can land an interview and prove that you are capable a company will be more than willing to hire you. The only thing CS degree helps is getting a higher chance of being interviewed, too many people think that the degree itself is what beneficial, you will be surprised there are top CS grads in my area from top unis and failed the technical test.

It all boils down to how well you do in the proficiency test in a technical test given by the company and how well you do in the interview as well as the things you have built.

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Some companies just throw your application in the trash if you don’t have a CS/CE/SE degree, some companies only care about what you know. It varies a lot.

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That is because each technical test cost money. If you have 100 + applicants to your company you definitely start filtering out to a profile that matches better. A hiring manager told me to set a technical test it costs about $100 on coding sites like hackerearth etc.

It does not mean the company is not willing to give a chance, there are other ways to enter for example internal recommendations and through networking to get the interview which enters a different process.

Approach your local recruiter or ask hiring managers what they look out for. No doubt there are companies who abide the traditional cs degree route. Many are willing to give the chance depending how many applicants apply.

That is why people suggest that you should email the hiring manager directly to get a better chance.

I don’t think we are really disagreeing here. Some companies are willing to give you a chance, some are hellbent on CS degree or bust.

Unlike the other replies I will try to answer the specific question of “What can be the advantages of a non-CS grad?”. The simplest answer is time spent learning relevant subjects.

If you went to get a degree, you generally will spend at least 4 years learning stuff. Now how relevant that stuff is to your day job isn’t very relevent, what is relevent is the time spent. 4 years is a long time to be learning anything. If you spent 4 years getting a specific set of skills for a specific job, odds are your skills would be pretty sufficient for that job. So generally the advantage you could have if you don’t go to get a CS degree is 4 years of relevant experience in the specific field of your choice (web development, web design, etc).

But like most things, there is a trade-off. If you spent 4 years learning about web design you probably have less of an idea of the difference between Java and Javascript (a pretty basic example) or the difference between BubbleSort and QuickSort (different sorting algorithms).
At the same time, if you went to get a CS degree, you might not of even learned how the web works (gasp!).

So at the end of the day there is a tradeoff, besides the ones listed in the other comments. (like job filtering due to lack of a degree). But generally people focus on what you know, and a degree might get you thru the door, but not much past that. You could of also went to school and learned web development on the side and came out with a lot of experience.

Focus on what you can know, and don’t worry to much about things you can’t change.

Goodluck and keep building and learning :smile:

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